US to Canada Vehicle Transport Frequently Asked Questions

There are three ways to import a vehicle into Canada:

  • Temporary Import
  • Permanent Import
  • Canadian vehicle returning (returning goods)


Temporary Import or Informal Entry:

These entries are for vehicles where the owner is there on a temporary basis. Examples are:

  • Seasonal Resident (12 months or less)
  • Work visa (36 months or less)
  • Students

Vehicles cannot be sold or traded in Canada. They must return to US to change ownership or go through a formal Import process and re-enter Canada. Turbo can also help you with this process. Fees will apply.

Temporary Imported vehicles can be temporarily registered in Canada so Canadian insurance can be acquired.

Permanent Import:

Permanent entry is required for all vehicles permanently entering Canada. Depending on who is importing the vehicle, formal clearance may be required before the vehicle can cross the border or Turbo can deliver to a bonded warehouse for self-clearance.

Payment of GST/Duty is required along with RIV on vehicle 15yr old and newer. Depending on the nature of the move, exemptions may apply which will reduce the amount of GST/Duty paid.

For more information, you can go to RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) website: www.riv.ca

Canadian Vehicle Returning (Returning Goods):

Returning Canadian vehicle can be brought into Canada two ways on a commercial carrier.

  • In-bond
  • Formal Entry

In-Bond:

The following types of entries must go IN-BOND to bonded warehouse to be self-cleared:

  • Any personal items in a Canadian vehicle returning to Canada
  • Any Canadian going back to Canada temporary with US vehicle
  • Canadian moving back to Canada with US vehicle to qualify for $10,000 value exemption
  • Any person going in under WORK-VISA
  • Immigrant moving to Canada to qualify for GST/Duty exemption

Formal Entry:

This is for a Canadian vehicle that can be cleared at the border and delivered to a Canadian address. No personal items can be in the vehicle. $150 Fee applys to file this type of entry.